The notion of design, as espoused by poet Robert Frost, is a complex idea which has been the subject of considerable analysis, thesis, and discussion since its original introduction. To make a thorough exploration of design, as Frost wrote, “The poem’s one/ Design must be that it briefly sketches a scene,” it is first necessary to examine what Frost meant by “design” and consider how this concept has been interpreted and used in subsequent works of literature.
Frost’s Definition of Design
Many have theorized about Frost’s definition of design given its ambiguity. Generally speaking, Frost believed that design should serve only to enhance a poem’s meaning, and should never be the basis for a poem’s subject matter. This definition implies that a poem should be created in such a way that its detail, or design, serves to effectively draw the reader’s attention to the embodiment of a theme, or message, behind the poem’s words.
Frost viewed design not as a metaphorical or elementary element of a poem, but as a critically important piece of its structure that assists in the delivery of an overarching meaning. Frost went on to write, “For a design is of the structure of a thing,/ Of its essence,/ Of any given whole of any thing that’s made.” It is here that Frost seems to declare that design should take precedence in the process of creating a successful poem.
Design as a Helpful Concept
In its capacity as an enabler to the embodiment of a poem’s meaning, design has proven to be a useful literary tool which has been employed in many works of literature. Nowhere is this more evident than in “Design”, frost’s own poem which focuses on the idea of an agent of evil deceiving its victims with the help of nature’s beauty. This is an example of how design could be used to function as an effective vessel of a poem’s meaning, without distracting from the poem’s message.
In this poem, Frost uses design to focus the reader’s attention on the perceived evil within a seemingly good and beautiful natural setting. This effectively highlights the poem’s theme of good and evil, and their interaction within a common context. By doing this, the structure of the poem serves to amplify the underlying distrust of nature, as it is perceived by the poet.
By exploring the concept of design as presented by Robert Frost, it is evident that the poet had a clear and intentional view of the notion of design and its function within a poem. This view is one which emphasizes the development of a poem’s structure, in order to draw attention to the poem’s primary meaning.
Design and Imaginative Writing
The idea of design has also been used effectively in the genre of imaginative writing, and has been presented in countless works of fiction, from classic novels by authors like J.R.R. Tolkien to contemporary award-winning works, such as Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children.
Through their respective works, these authors demonstrate the concept of design being used in order to present a detailed structure and setting in which a particular theme can be explored. This helps to evoke an emotive response in the reader and create a mindset in which an ecstatic or exclusive understanding of the story’s theme can be achieved.
In this way, design is used as a means of exploring a particular theme in the most effective way possible. It allows the story’s literary elements, such as plot and character, to create a unique environment in which a meaningful message can be explored. These authors mutually accept the idea of design as espoused by Robert Frost and use it to bring attention to a single point in a more comprehensive manner.
Design and Technical Writing
Apart from imaginative writing, Frost’s concept of design has also been effectively used in technical writing. Technical writing provides a structured framework which is used to clearly communicate ideas and facts, usually in formal documents like reports.
In this context, design is not used as a tool to establish a particular stylistic approach or emphasize a certain aesthetic, but rather as a way to efficiently present the key points of the document. By organizing the document logically and in an inclusive way, design functions as a means of making sure that the main points and ideas are expressed clearly and concisely, without it becoming bogged down with superfluous detail and unnecessary description.
By utilizing design to manage the flow of information, technical writing is able to become more efficient and cost-effective, allowing for a streamlined process that ensures all relevant information is communicated in the most effective way possible. This is a valuable asset of design which is often overlooked but is important in crafting a meaningful and successful technical document.
Design in Advertising
The concept of design has also been used extensively in advertising materials, where it is used to create an atmosphere which is conducive to highlighting the strengths of a product. This was initially developed during the early 1930s when commercial advertising became increasingly popular.
Specifically, design was used to create advertising campaigns which delivered the salient points of the product in the most effective way possible. This idea of design has been further developed since then, with the introduction of more sophisticated techniques such as copywriting, photography, and graphic design. By utilizing these techniques in conjunction with design, advertisers are able to create more sophisticated and comprehensive campaigns that appeal to the target audience.
In conclusion, design is clearly a concept which has been used and refined by a diverse range of writers, from poets like Robert Frost to creative writers like Salman Rushdie and technical writers. This idea has proven to be an effective tool in creating structure and highlighting the key points of a written work, whether it be a poem or an advertising campaign.